Engaging stakeholders in a vision for the future with Thoughtexchange
Camosun College President Sherri Bell believes today’s higher learning institutions need to be nimble and prepared to continually respond to opportunities that reflect the changing world in which they operate. So, it’s no surprise that updating the Victoria, British Columbia college’s campus plan is high on her priority list.
“Our new campus plan will probably be our largest undertaking as a college for the next 20 years, and it’s important we get it right,” Bell says. “The problem with face-to-face engagements is that often the ‘squeaky wheel’ consumes a lot of energy and time,” Bell explains. “A small group can make it seem like their issue is important to everyone, and that might not be true. We needed a way to hear from everyone.”
From strategic planning to the new campus plan
While refreshing their strategic plan in 2015, Camosun’s leadership team heard from an enormous number of people using Thoughtexchange.
“Rather than make a plan with a small group and take it to face-to-face events for feedback, we heard from hundreds of people online first and took what we learned to the in-person meetings,” Bell says. “That was very effective.”
When it came time to in 2017 to look at facilities planning, Bell and her team saw another opportunity to partner with Thoughtexchange and discover the true priorities of as many stakeholders as possible.
The campus plan exchange reached 507 of the college’s roughly 1,000 academic and administrative staff, who responded to the questions in their own words. Through the Thoughtexchange Star step, the staff could also consider and rate thoughts shared by others.
“In both our initiatives, engagement was extremely high and we were able to take that information from so many people to our face-to-face meetings, which was powerful and effective,” Bell says. “Using Thoughtexchange validates our thinking as leaders and helps us communicate with our community. It shows people in the college we are leveraging both technology and in-person approaches, so everyone has a chance to contribute.”
“Using Thoughtexchange validates our thinking as leaders and helps us communicate with our community. It shows people in the college we are leveraging both technology and in-person approaches, so everyone has a chance to contribute.”Sherri Bell, President Camosun College
Student needs shine through
Through the recent campus planning exchange, Bell learned that once staff had a chance to consider everyone’s thinking, student experience was at the top of the priority list.
“The heartwarming part was that when hundreds of faculty participated online using Thoughtexchange, they were clear that it was important to them that students needs such as collaboration and gathering space come first,” she says, noting that student housing and support services also rose to the top as important priorities.
Thoughtexchange provides software solutions that bring people together, build trust and make progress on important topics. Whether it’s employees, customers or whole communities, our solutions effortlessly connect you to your stakeholders. People can confidentially and independently share their thoughts, appreciate other points of view and understand how their perspectives are connected to decisions. Our patent-pending data analysis gives you the insights to make informed decisions and take action.
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